4 Types of Small Business Advertising Ideas You Don’t Want to Miss Out On

By Rhonda Bradley / 11 February 2019

Discover unique ways to advertise your small business that don’t include the typical social media, search engines, or email marketing.

Small businesses know the importance of building a social media following and getting their content seen in search engines. 

However, small businesses need advertising that’s affordable, effective, and quick. 

In the early stages of your business, you need a boost to help you grow your audience right away.

Over time, you want a solid network of advertising channels that don’t rely solely on the trends and updates dictated by social media and search engines.

 In this article, we’ll share tips for affordable advertising on alternative platforms such as:

  • Podcast sponsorships
  • Radio advertising
  • Cable TV advertising
  • Local advertising

1. Advertise Your Small Business with Podcast Sponsorships

Podcasting can be a highly effective way for small businesses to reach target audiences. In this section, we’ll explain the benefits of podcast sponsorship and offer some resources for you to get started.

In the U.S. alone, there are about 67 million monthly podcast listeners, and half of them say they go out of their way to support brands that sponsor their favorite podcasts.

Podcasting popularity has gained popularity in recent years, and many podcasters are looking for sponsors. Typically a business pays a fee and, in exchange, the broadcaster reads a message about their brand during the podcast.

According to podcast marketing agency Authentic, tracking key performance indicators can be tricky because podcast metrics come in many different forms:

  • iTunes rank
  • Unique downloads
  • Total downloads
  • Server log files
  • Raw hits
  • Podcast impressions

The analytics can be daunting, but agencies can help.

Authentic agency screenshot

Companies such as Authentic and AdvertiseCast can help you find podcasts to sponsor that match your budget and audience while assisting with campaign analytics.

2. Advertise Your Small Business on Radio Stations

Radio advertising can be an affordable way for small businesses to launch effective advertising campaigns. In this section, we’ll explain why some small businesses should consider radio advertising.

Radio is an oft-overlooked medium by people who work from home or commute in ways other than driving to work. 

However, people across America are listening to their car radios on the way to work every day. 

Over 245 million people listen to an average of 12 hours of radio each week, according to a report by Radio Advertising Bureau.

The U.S. Small Business Administration advises small companies to use local radio advertising, and states that radio promotions are:

  • Affordable
  • Quick
  • Easy to target

Radio ads do a remarkable job of increasing in-store traffic for certain types of businesses. 

A recent report found that radio advertising increases in-store traffic by an average of 22%, and that automotive, beauty retailers, and quick-service restaurants typically exceed the norm.

Radio Spots Traffic Graph
Source: Radio Advertising Bureau 2018 report

For example, the study noted that certain automotive brands increased foot traffic by 45% thanks to radio advertising. 

To learn more about the brands and industries that benefit most from radio and to discover what days and times radio spots aired, view the 2018 Executive Summary on Radio Drives Store Traffic by the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Discover the top 30 radio advertising agencies.

3. Advertise Your Small Business With Affordable Cable TV Options

Cable TV has always offered affordable advertising options, and now one of cable’s largest providers is launching a new program aimed at small businesses. In this section, you’ll discover some of the budget-friendly options for cable TV advertising.

When you hear the phrase “cable TV advertising,” you probably assume that it’s a serious financial investment best left to larger companies.

However, there are affordable ways to advertise your small business on cable television, such as:

  • Cable Crawls

Cable crawls are the scrolling text at the bottom of the screen that run during many news broadcasts. 

According to a cable advertising article on The Balance, cable crawls’ ad rates fluctuate depending on market size -- and popular channels such as The Weather Channel offer packages for as little as $10 a day in smaller markets. 

  • Targeted Cable Advertising

Charter Spectrum corporation (formerly Time Warner) recently launched Spectrum Reach, an affordable cable TV advertising solution appropriate for small businesses. 

Spectrum Reach

By broadcasting ads to target audiences only, Spectrum aims to make cable TV advertising within reach for all small businesses.

  • Local Cable Packages

Many cable broadcast companies offer affordable advertising options for small businesses. 

Contact your local cable provider and ask about community advertising, TV listing ads, remnant advertising, and other low-cost options available in your market.

4. Advertise Your Small Business Locally 

Even if you’re not a brick-and-mortar business, you have much to gain by networking and advertising locally. In this section, we’ll show you some unique ways that small businesses can advertise locally.

Networking with your local community and businesses can be a quick and rewarding way to grow your small business. Many local sponsorship options will get your brand’s name in front of your community, including:

  • Sponsor a local sports team
  • Sponsor a parade float
  • Sponsor your local NPR station
  • Place ads in your local performing arts center programs
  • Sponsor a local theatre group

For example Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga, CA offers playbill advertising for as little as $1,200 a year. The playhouse also offers the chance for businesses to sponsor their shows.

Playbill sponsorship screenshot
Source

Also, consider advertising locally in the following channels:

  • Out-of-Home advertising (billboards, digital signs, banners)
  • Coupons in coupon books or Groupon
  • Local newspaper advertising

Local advertising also allows you to get creative with your marketing campaigns. For example:

  • Partner with another local business to launch an event and ad campaign centered around a social cause.
  • Develop a user-generated ad campaign that offers incentives to people who share photos and hashtags from your location.
  • Advertise through your local Chamber of Commerce. Their events and publications command attention from many of the local businesses in your area.

Don’t forget the free advertising! Pitching to journalists globally can be time-consuming. Building relationships with local writers is easier because they’re usually more accessible. It’s much easier to get your story ideas in front of journalists who’ve met you and recognize your name.

Learn how businesses used online advertising in 2018.

Small Businesses Enjoy a Wide Range of Affordable Advertising Options

While the financial investment can seem daunting, advertising is a crucial step for small businesses who want to grow an audience. 

There are many unique, creative ways for businesses to advertise that don’t “break the bank.” Podcast sponsorships, radio advertising, cable television, and local advertising are some of the best ways for small businesses to grow through advertising.
 

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